Archive for the 'Marketing Materials' Category

Promotional Products Speak for Your Company

Posted on September 20, 2016

put your logo on your trade show give aways

Attend any trade show and you are bound to walk away with a bag full of loot. The goodies range from cheap pens to nice ball capsThere are Post-It note pads, rulers, letter openers, paperclip holders and a myriad of other products.

So many logoed cheap items end up in the trash can of hotel rooms and never even make it home from the showThen, there are the practical items of high quality that actually serve a useful purposeThe latest promotional trend is the cellphone holder as shown This practical device cradles your cell phone on your desk allowing you to see texts as they arrive without picking it upIt forces the user to look at the logo of the company each time their phone lights upSubliminal messaging at its finest.

If you end up going the cheap route on a promotional product you are basically making your company look cheap You do not want promotional products to reflect badly upon your company as it is counter-productive and leaves people with a bad image of your company or worse yet, no image as the items ends up in the trash.

Another favorite practical promotional product is the envelope openerIt is of high quality and includes a business card from the person who gave it away Her name and the company name are seen every single business day since not a day goes by without mail to be opened The one shown is a nice heavy duty plastic version that will last for years While many people give away letter openers, may buy the cheapest, most inexpensive version on the market These are usually so small they are hard to hold in your hand and frustrating to use and end up in the garbage like other cheap items Not that there is anything wrong with cheap but there are just so many varieties given away at trade shows that it’s not practical to keep them unless you have a lot of desk space available.

The baseball cap is probably the most coveted of giveaway items However, think about what the goal of the giveaway is Are you giving them the hat simply to have something to give away or do you actually want them to wear it? Look at the two hats shown in the photo The one on the left is a high quality Flex Fit hat The material is good and the color stands out This is a hat that anyone would be proud to wear The hat on the right is of such low quality that even the manufacturer doesn’t attach their name to it It is not a hat that most people would want to wear Spend the money on a good quality premium gift and it will be used day in and day out

Need Specialized Marketing Materials? Create-a-Card’s Got You Covered

Posted on June 22, 2015

When it comes to your collateral marketing campaigns, sometimes you’ve got to go the extra mile. At Create-A-Card, we strive to be a one-stop shop for transportation companies seeking to bolster their marketing efforts. If you’ve been in business for five, ten or even twenty years, it might be time for you to freshen things up and put your brand out there a little more. It might be time to rev the engines and shift into high gear. Our 20 page brochure is a click away…

Let us help you take your transportation business to the next level. With nearly 30 years of experience in the industry, we know what works. Sometimes, standard marketing materials don’t cut it. That’s why we proudly offer a variety of robust products, including:

· Mini marketing kits: Small and to the point, this option helps create a professional impact in a pint-sized punch. Your kit will include brochures, rack cards, business cards and more.

· Large marketing kits: Bigger occasions call for larger marketing materials. This sized kit is ideally designed for presentations.

· Presentation folders: These 9” x 12” folders are the perfect place to store your marketing collateral and are certain to complement your marketing kits.

We understand that marketing might not be second nature to you. And that’s why we’ll take care of the marketing grunt work so you can focus on what you do best: safely moving your customers from one location to another.

Give us a call and tell us your story and who you’re trying to reach. We’ll tell you what products work best and our art department will get to work right away on proofs, ensuring the consistency of your brand along the way. The best part? We’ll turn something around within a short period of time, so you’ll be able to start your new campaign quickly.

If you’re looking for specialized, advanced marketing materials, click here to get in touch with us. Our staff is looking forward to helping you create the specialized collateral you need to grow your business.

In the Transportation Industry? Distinguish Your Brand with Customized Collateral

Posted on June 12, 2015

In the ground transportation business, it can be tough to find loyal customers because, most of the time, people are just worried about getting from Point A to Point B as inexpensively as possible.

Because of this, gaining customers can be hard. And if you do reel them in, keeping them baited can be just as daunting, especially since many will only care about how much your services cost. So before they decide to take their business elsewhere, how can you keep you them?

One way to differentiate your transportation company from your competitors is by launching a diverse, targeted collateral marketing campaign—one with branded business cards, post cards, brochures and more. In doing so, you help build brand awareness and put your company’s name in the minds of people who will one day need your services.

But you’re in the business of getting people from one place to another place—you’re not a marketer.

Don’t sweat it.

Angel Limo Brochure (PDF)With nearly three decades of experience providing luxury ground transportation services, tour companies and black car services with high-quality marketing collateral, we at Create-A-Card know the transportation industry inside and out. As members of many organizations and associations — like the National Limousine Association, the Minority Limousine Operators of America and the Greater California LiveryAssociation, to name a few—we follow all of the trends and latest happenings of the industry and know what marketing strategies work.

Whether you’re looking to re-brand your company, spread the word about what kind of services you offer or just get your logo out there, we’re confident that we’ll help find the solution you’re looking for to grow your business. Download our current brochure (PDF).

In this industry, it’s tough to keep loyalty. Let us help you get more people to know your brand and that you’re out there to help better their lives.

We look forward to helping you tell your story, so contact us today.

Industry’s Powerhouse Marketing Company, Create-A-Card, Inc. becomes the largest full-service traditional and digital marketing company with its acquisition of Innovative Marketing Concepts

Posted on March 7, 2012

[March 7, 2012, St. James, NY] — Create-A-Card, Inc.’s Founder and President, Arthur Messina announced today that his company has acquired its long-time competitor, Innovative Marketing Concepts (IMC).  This acquisition enables Create-A-Card to further advance its position as the pinnacle of global marketing in the chauffeured transportation industry.

According to Mr. Messina, the acquisition will fuel what has already been exceptional business growth in revenue and market share. “This acquisition is just a part of Create-A-Card’s continuing expansion,” he said.  “With the technology and creative talent of our team, Create-A-Card, delivers the full spectrum of marketing services and support – from corporate identity development and public relations, to cutting edge digital projects and social media.

Already positioned to lead the industry in innovation, Create-A-Card will provide the companies’ combined customers a wider range of services and value.  Create-A-Card brings superior strengths and assets that you won’t find available at any other company.  According to Messina, “This is a great opportunity to leverage our market position to address customer needs in new service segments and technologies. By focusing purely on the delivery of marketing services to the chauffeured transportation industry and always delivering expert advice, this acquisition is a strategic move that we believe will position Create-A-Card for additional expansion and sustained growth.”

IMC brings world-class marketing people and an established client base to Create-A-Card, Inc. and the acquisition assures their clients that they are in excellent hands.  More importantly, Messina believes that combining the resources of both companies will provide an important strategic fit. “We are pleased to have reached an agreement with such a high quality organization. We look forward to the positive sales and earnings contributions that this acquisition affords now and in the years ahead,” said Messina.  IMC feels that that this acquisition is in the best interest of their clients and feels that they will have the opportunity to be working with a superb organization.

About Create-A-Card, Inc. Create-A-Card, Inc. has, under the leadership of Arthur Messina, evolved from a specialized printing company in 1986 into what is, today, the industry’s leading full-service marketing strategy and solutions provider. For over two decades, Mr. Messina has taken a leadership position in ground transportation and has built a reputation as an industry innovator and the preferred partner for market-leading transportation companies.

For more information, please visit the company website, follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, or contact Arthur Messina @ 631-584-2273.

It’s all about Branding…

Posted on October 21, 2011

I have included a great overview, below, that initially appeared in Bloomberg Business Week.

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Define your brand identity—your product’s “personality”—before you spend a dime on advertising or marketing.

Talk to entrepreneurs about their marketing and communications efforts, and they’ll often use the words “branding,” “marketing,” and “advertising” interchangeably. That reflects the pervasive confusion about the terms.  About 15 years ago, ‘branding’ became a buzzword in the business vernacular, and people still get the words mixed up all the time.

That confusion is unfortunate, because understanding the concepts and how they mesh is vital to every company’s bottom line. Studies show companies that market their products or services without first establishing their brand identities are not likely to achieve return on investment. If you’re spending money to advertise and market without being connected to a brand position, you might as well pile the money up and burn it.

Rob Frankel, a branding expert and author in Los Angeles, calls branding the most misunderstood concept in all of marketing, even among professionals. Branding, he says, “is not advertising and it’s not marketing or PR. Branding happens before all of those: First you create the brand, then you raise awareness of it.”

Your Brand is Your Personality

And while many people think successful branding is only about awareness, it’s not, Frankel adds. “Everyone knows about cancer but how many people actually want it? Branding is about getting your prospects to perceive you as the only solution to their problem. Once you’re perceived as ‘the only,’ there’s no place else to shop. Which means your customers gladly pay a premium for your brand.”

Your product or service is not your company’s brand and neither is your logo or your business card. Your brand is the genuine “personality” of your company. “It’s what your customers think of you and say about you when they’ve left your company,” says Rodger Roeser, president of Cincinnati-based Eisen Management Group, a public-relations and brand-development firm.

Your brand is what your company stands for and what it is known for. “Look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself what you stand for. Go around the room with your leadership and ask them what the company stands for. Settle on one or two brand pillars and build your brand around them. If you can’t define your brand, your customers won’t be able to, either. And the risk is that someone else will define it for you—probably your competitors,” Roeser says.

The Promise You Make to the World

A brand is a promise and branding is the act of devising the promise your company makes to the world. Marketing, is the strategy that differentiates your brand promise from all the other brand promises in that increasingly crowded house called “your category.”

Think of marketing like a toolbox containing branding, advertising, direct mail, market research, public relations, and other tools. “Marketing represents the combination of methods organizations use to persuade their target audience toward some specified behavior such as sales,” says Stephen Rapier, of Glendale (Calif.)-based The Artime Group.

Advertising, Rapier says, can take many forms: print, as in newspaper and magazine ads; outdoor, such as billboards; online Web banners; and broadcast advertising on radio and TV. “Typically, the goal of advertising is to grab attention, create positive perceptions, and prompt response while conveying information consumers will find relevant to their needs,” he notes.

Your Brand Is a Lifestyle

A successful marketing strategy uses all—or most—of the tools in the box depending on the job at hand, Cecil says. “Crafting a winning marketing strategy is challenging enough even when you have articulated your brand promise and is probably impossible if you haven’t.”

If you have not specified your company’s brand, don’t spend another dime on marketing until you do. While everyone’s familiar with megabrands such as Apple (AAPL), Nike (NKE), and Virgin, small companies can also develop potent brands and market them successfully, says Steve Manning, managing director at Igor, a branding and naming firm based in San Francisco.

“A brand creates an image in the mind of the consumer. It says something is different at your firm, something worth more than business as usual. If your firm is a commodity, your customers will choose you solely on the basis of price or getting something for free. If you’ve got a brand, you’re selling a lifestyle and you can sell anything you want,” Manning says.

Who is Your CCO?

Posted on September 21, 2011

By Guest Author, Randi Busse, Workforce Development Group, Inc.

CCO? Do you mean CEO? COO? CFO? CLO? CMO?

No, I mean CCO. Chief Customer Officer. You do have one, don’t you?

A chief customer officer (CCO) is the executive responsible in customer-centric companies for the total relationship with an organization’s customers. Your company is “customer-centric”, isn’t it? This position is a relatively new addition to the C-suite and was developed to provide a single vision across all methods of customer contact. The CCO is often responsible for influencing activities of customer relations throughout an organization, whether in the call center, sales, marketing, finance, fulfillment or post-sale support. The CCO typically reports to the Chief Executive Officer and is charged with improving the customer experience.

Chief Customer Officers may be known by many titles, however, according to the Chief Customer Officer Council, the CCO is properly defined as “an executive who provides the comprehensive and authoritative view of the customer and creates corporate and customer strategy at the highest levels of the company to maximize customer acquisition, retention, and profitability.”

Over the past five years, Forrester Research has observed an increase in the number of companies with a single executive leading customer experience efforts across a business unit or an entire company. These individuals often serve as top executives, with the mandate and power to design, orchestrate and improve customer experiences across every customer interaction. And whether firms call them Chief Customer Officers (CCOs) or give them some other label, these leaders sit at high levels of power at companies as diverse as Allstate, Dunkin’ Brands, Oracle and USAA.

When companies with CCOs made the decision to establish such a position, it often was because of a mass exodus of customers. However, other reasons included a change in leadership, a desire to accelerate growth, a reaction to a competitor’s actions or a response brought about by rapid growth.

The key role for the Chief Customer Officer is to lead Customer Experience Management:

  1. To learn what customers value and how they feel about your organization and the current experience you provide.
  2. To interpret this feedback and prioritize the most important issues.
  3. To enact change that closes the gap between customer expectations and the actual experience delivered.
  4. Finally, to monitor key metrics to ensure that your organization continually improves the customer experience.

Despite the many successes resulting from the creation of a CCO role, it’s also important to recognize that a chief customer officer is not a silver bullet for a company’s customer experience problems.

A 2009 study of over 860 corporate executives revealed that companies that had increased their investment in customer experience management over the previous three years reported higher customer referral rates and customer satisfaction (Strativity Group, 2009).

Think your company is too small to have a CCO? Think again. Those big companies started small.

Why you should be wary if you offer free Wi-Fi

Posted on July 22, 2011

By Guest Author, Patricia Charla

If you offer free Wi-Fi and your customers use it to illegally download or share copyrighted content, you could be punished as Internet service providers step up enforcement, NFIB warned. “Some people don’t want to pirate music from home, because they’re afraid of getting caught, so they’ll use the Wi-Fi connection of a neighbor or the coffee shop down the street,” said NFIB’s Tony Gagliardi, who gives tips on keeping your Wi-Fi protected.

Please play with the words so it isn’t a verbatim pick-up.  A lot of limo companies are putting wifi in their sedans, limos and buses.  Some of them are even providing Ipads in their cars.

Read the full article here.

Have You Seen These?

Posted on July 15, 2011

These curious little black and white squares have literally been popping up everywhere. You’ve probably seen them in ads, catalogues, brochures and more. What are they and what do they do?

U.S. Postal Service is offering a 3% discount on standard mailings that include a QR (quick response) code in July & August 2011

Quick Response (QR) codes

are specific matrix barcodes that are digitally encoded with information that both barcode readers and smart phones can read. The QR code can contain a link to a specific web page (URLs), text or other types of data. A more sophisticated QR code can be used to embed other useful data like videos, music or promotional campaigns. A QR code is capable of 360 degree (omni-directional), high-speed reading.

Most smart phones (as of 2011) allow you to download a free “QR reader” that enables any phone to become a QR code scanner. Beginning in 2011, some phones already have this app as part of its standard software.

Having a QR code in your promotional materials grabs attention, leading users to high-quality, high-value content instantaneously. Skillfully using this tool in conjunction with social media marketing, video marketing or a high-quality (mobile) web site can help companies stand out in a marketplace that craves variety. Many businesses use QR codes innovatively to reach consumers via posters, billboards, ads, etc. to provide information regarding consumer campaigns, promotions and other company information.

QR codes can be a great branding tool. Mobile phone users can be directed to web sites where users can download ads, ringtones, logos, videos and flash presentations. Using QR codes on packaging is another innovative way to advertise products or offer information.

For businesses looking to differentiate themselves from their competition, QR codes should be on their radar. By integrating QR codes and a mobile friendly web site into their campaigns, businesses can leverage the needs and attention of the smart phone user more effectively. 

Let Create-A-Card, Inc, your marketing specialist for the transportation industry, help you capitalize on this unique marketing opportunity and begin leveraging the potential of Quick Response codes in your business today!

Branding Secrets…

Posted on April 27, 2011

Your brand reflects the personality of your company and promises customers high value for the money they exchange for your goods or services.

Branding, however, is not easy and companies often make these 7 mistakes:

1. They try to be all things to all people. It is better to just focus on meeting the needs and exceeding the expectations of your target market.

2. Branding is not instantaneous. You have to think long, not short-term. A brand has to mature over time to be effective. Instant branding measures confuse customers and lose market share.

3. Branding should have a long-term perspective. Don’t limit your brand to what you are only doing now. Keep the possibility open for new technologies to completely upgrade your current best practices.

4. Even if your product is approximately the same thing, your brand should have something unique. Coca Cola and Pepsi are both similar looking and tasting sugared drinks, but they have been branded in completely different ways, resulting in consumers actually arguing about which is better.

5. While differentiation is important, it should not be overdone. The consumer should still feel a sense of familiarity with the product. For instance, Dell computers are designed in a slightly different way from other computers, but consumers are not bewildered by the customized configurations of Dell because they are similar enough to other computers to make them feel comfortable.

6. When your brand is attacked, you should defend it. Ignoring negative press will not make it go away. In fact, the rumors might even get worse. Brand reputation management will save your brand from collapsing under the weight of spurious competitors allegations.

7. Focus your brand on quality, rather than pricing. The Mac computers cost twice as much as PCs, but they also offer a lot more value, especially for those who do graphic design or online marketing. So, is it really expensive, or just different in a good way?

What are some of the branding mistakes your company makes?

Press Release Secrets

Posted on February 28, 2011

It’s not unusual for media editors and journalists to receive hundreds of press releases every day.

This means that you have a lot of competition and you have to do something exceptional to get yours picked out. Fortunately, it is a lot simpler to do this than you might imagine. When you focus on quality, your press releases will stand out from the crowd.

Here are the top ten qualities your press release should include:

1. An attention-grabbing headline has to do two things simultaneously: convey the gist of your press release while stirring curiosity. Without a power-packed headline, your press release will not even be read. Instead, it will be relegated to the filing cabinet just below the editor’s desk (the trash bin).

Here are some tips to create compelling headlines:

• Be brief, succinct, and snappy.
• Reveal the gist of the story.
• Don’t be confusing.
• Send a clear message.
• Avoid hype and sales.

2. Send it to the right target media audience. For instance, if your field is biotechnology, a press release on a new scientific breakthrough will not be relevant to a media editor who only focuses on the financial markets.

3. Respect the time of news people. Since they have to sift through hundreds of press releases every day, they appreciate brevity. Keep your information focused on who, what, where, when, why, and how. Edit out any extraneous information.

4. Stay objective. Stick to the facts and stay clear of unsubstantiated claims. Use statistics, curb your enthusiasm, and stay objective.

5. Remember to always follow up. Despite the high quality of your press release, media people get busy and distracted, so follow up.

7. If you have a lot of additional information that you want to communicate, then create an online press release kit. Simply send the media person an embedded link, so they can find out more if they choose.

8. Respond immediately to any inquiries. If a journalist contacts you, respond immediately. If you procrastinate, you will have sabotaged your press release campaign.

9. Use a cell phone for all your marketing. A landline may drop the call or result in a static reception.

10. Be prepared to answer questions that you may be asked in an interview. For instance, who you are, what you do, what makes you unique, and why you do what you do.

What do you do to get your press releases read and acted on?